How unifying music can be was crystal clear at the Santa Barbara Bowl on Thursday night, when concertgoers young and old held up their lighters and phone flashlights for the indie-rock band Young the Giant.
The 4,000 pieces of light formed a glowing venue filled with couples still getting to know each other, couples celebrating decades of partnership, and families with kids who just graduated from toddler status.
Regardless of the age difference, most attendees shared a knowledge of the words to Young the Giant’s songs. They regularly stood up and sang along with the lead singer Sameer Gadhia, who floated around on the stage as if he were on a cloud.
Mr. Gadhia and his bandmates opened with the song “Oblivion,” whose lyrics addressed the debt and grind that can come with life.
“Everyone I know has got their debt to pay. Sell your soul to make it. That’s the modern way,” crooned Mr. Gadhia.
Young and the Giant members, though, seem like the type to be comfortable with taking the alternative roads in modern life. Mr. Gadhia, for instance, left Stanford University to pursue music. The risk seems to have been outweighed by the benefits and success, as evident by Thursday’s attendees who religiously knew the band’s songs.
The second song “Something to Believe in” spoke to those in the crowd battling demons in life. “Burn up the basement full of demons. Realize you’re a slave to your mind, break free,” Mr. Gadhia advised.
And so they were breaking free, letting the music and the hypnotizing screens behind the band carry them away. With the melodious tunes, Young the Giant delivered thought-provoking messages that perceptive individuals in the crowd received. Most of the songs the band performed addressed topics such as feeling alone, the American dream and being lost. For those nursing wounds of heartbreak or identity crisis, the band’s lyrics are like a soothing balm, letting them know they are not alone.
The night ended in what essentially was a dance party with their chart toppers such as “Silvertongue” and “My Baby.” This bumping party was led by a Mr. Gadhia in a sparkly cloak that could very much have been his alter ego.
Luckily for the folks present at the Bowl, the party did not only end well but started out tremendously.
Coin, an indie pop band from Nashville, launched the concert in the evening. Coin’s lead singer Chase Lawrence gave the performance as if he were possessed by a spirit, jerking and spazzing with high energy across the stage. One was left amused and entertained, yet could not help but wonder whether Mr. Lawrence will continue giving such high-energy performances as the band gains more notoriety.
Following Coin was another indie pop band: Fitz and the Tantrums. The LA-formed band fired up the crowd with their hits, including “HandClap,” which has topped the charts in Europe, Asia and North America.
Young the Giant and Fitz and the Tantrums are nearing the end of their co-tour, with five more cities remaining: LA, Phoenix, Reno, Berkeley and Las Vegas. Those interested in tickets can check out https://www.ytgfitz.com/